The Importance of Indian and South Asian Representation with Shiv Reddy

Today, Tayo is joined by Shiv Reddy, a phenomenal cultural commentator, photographer, and an advocate for visual and cultural representation.   She’s been taking photos for the past decade, but most of her current projects are commissioned for South Asian weddings and family portraits.  Photography first enthralled her because it allowed her to enter a space that wasn’t intended for her.  Given that South Asian individuals are rarely portrayed in Western media, as a photographer, Reddy aims to make each of her clients feel like the main character.  

Shiv’s passion for representation transcends photography, though.  She’s taken to social media to engage with others about diversity in pop culture, and has become rather popular herself in doing so.  She goes on to discuss the difference between visual representation and cultural representation in media and why we should always try to achieve the latter.  In the media, minority stereotypes and relevant discriminatory undertones are unfortunately still prevalent, so she hopes that her social media creates a safe space for individuals to have discussions, feel seen, and be heard.  Online, she often talks about pop culture phenomena and the unique experience of feeling ashamed of your own culture for fear of judgment from those around you.  Shiv and Tayo draw this episode to a close by discussing Shiv’s media future, in which she’s ‘taking it one day at a time’.  

The Finer Details of This Episode: 

  • How Shiv started her photography career
  • What it’s like entering a space not designed for you
  • The importance of making clients feel like the main character
  • Bridgerton’s inclusivity
  • The journey from visual representation to cultural representation
  • India’s wide range of diversity
  • Assimilating to American culture
  • Shiv’s future in pop culture




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